Written by Company news | 8 April, 2019
| Posted in
As part of our regular ‘My Story’ blog series, we sat down to talk tower living with one of our Barbican vendors, whose apartment is situated on the 37th floor of one of the iconic Barbican towers:
Tell us what makes this apartment so special?
So many things, but the special and unexpected thing for me in the middle of the City is how close you feel to nature. You feel almost on the same level as stunning morning sunrises and incredible storm clouds rumbling across the sky past you; you feel that you become part of the weather. The view of the sunsets from outside on the balcony is inspiring when the whole of London is illuminated by the fading light. At night the myriad of literally hundreds of thousands of lights never ceases to amaze, even more so when it’s complemented by the whole horizon sparkling with the fireworks of New Year. It’s also surprisingly quiet on the large balcony but when you close the windows there is silence – you’re in the heart of London but just wouldn’t know – it’s so peaceful up here! You can lie in bed when you wake up and watch clouds fleeting by in silence. But in just a minute or so you can be amongst the dynamism of the streets below if you wish – the best of both worlds.
In terms of the apartment itself, I’ve been very careful to make any improvements in the spirit of the Barbican ethos of clean, simple, modern lines. The brutalist architecture, which I do absolutely love, benefits from a little softening by the plants and mood lighting outside which actually enhance it by providing contrast.
Why buy in the Barbican?
The Barbican Estate feels like a community in an architectural gem, set apart from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The Barbican with its gardens, lakes and fountains is a beautiful haven of peace within the City. Add to that the Arts Centre within two minutes, with cinemas, concerts and galleries, the multitude of local eateries and shops – everything you need is here, but with the tube 50m away and the Elizabeth Line coming soon you can get anywhere fast.
What is to be gained from living at such a great height in the tower?
To live high up in a tower is a chance to be part of something unique, in a location with a view that’s everchanging. Last year it was snowing up here but raining at street level! From every room I see clouds floating by the windows and views to the edge of London. From the balcony I see all the fly pasts going overhead on their way to Buckingham Palace; Hampstead Heath, the arch of Wembley Stadium, the Walkie Talkie, Crystal Palace…I could go on! On a clear day you can see about 20km away, so Epping Forrest bathed in sunlight and fields of corn in the countryside, yet close by the shiny new towers of the City and ageless St Paul’s – how could that not give you an inspiring start to any day?
But it does have disadvantages for friends. Last year one from Italy who stayed with me for four months had to relocate to Manchester and needed to rent a flat there. Having lived in my flat for even that short time he realised he couldn’t consider living at ground level again, so ended up with a flat on the 39th floor of Beetham Tower! But he says the views are sadly nowhere as good as the City. He keeps asking for me to send for photos of the changing view on WhatsApp and even with his views his responses are always – ‘amazing’, ‘magnificent’ or ‘so special.
Is the view protected?
The location of this tower in relation to St Paul’s Cathedral means that no new buildings can be built higher than 15 storeys behind the Cathedral when viewed from Waterloo Bridge, which means that nothing can be built within about 1km of the tower that would block my balcony view.
Your lasting memory of tower living?
It’s a lasting memory and perhaps my favourite memory of living here, too – a rainstorm passed over the Barbican last year and produced a double rainbow. Being so high meant I was able to see both ends of the semi-circular rainbow and the colours were so vivid. But I wasn’t fast enough to get a good picture as these amazing things you see up here are so transitory, and like the final moments of sunsets, last just a couple of minutes, but those minutes you never forget!
If you would like to discuss this apartment in greater detail, please contact our City office to find out more.
Tags: Architecture, Barbican, City, Design, For Sale, Icon, Iconic, London, Nature, Tower, Urban, Vendor, View, Views